Glenwood XC dominates home meet at ‘The Hill’
On a sunny fall morning that Van Gogh would have wanted to put on canvas, the Glenwood High School cross country team played host to eight other varsity squads at the Glenwood Springs Golf Course on Saturday.
The course, aptly nicknamed “The Hill”, features undulating fairways and quick turns around greens, which provides a grassy challenge to even the youngest legs and determined spirits.
Glenwood sophomore Henry Barth decided to make the scenic layout his personal playground, as he took an early lead in the boys’ varsity race, and steadily increased his margin throughout, as he broke the finish line tape with a winning time of 17 minutes, 35 seconds.
Barth was excited to get the victory in front of a friendly crowd on homecoming weekend.
“This is really cool for me and our team because a lot of the students from the school were here today,” said Barth, who garnered the first varsity win of his young career. “We all wanted to show the school how good we are.”
The Demon boys did just that in winning the team title with a total of 34 points on the day. They edged out highly regarded 5A Heritage High from the state’s front range by a scant 5 points. Eagle Valley was third with 62 points, and the Rifle Bears came in fourth with a point total of 118.
Rounding out the top finishers for Glenwood behind Barth were Mathew Thrun in 4th place (18:04), Gavin Harden was right behind in 5th (18:12), Ian Richardson was 6th (18:13), and Bryce Risner was in 18th place overall (18:55).
Rifle was led in scoring by Jack Rubalcave (8th, 18:26), and Gabe Marbas (15th, 18:43). William Luckett of Basalt was 30th at 20:21.
Speaking of the Bears, junior Sarah Wagler finished in 2nd place overall in the girls’ portion of the day’s events. Wagler (20:50), trailed race winner Joslin Blair (19:48) of Eagle Valley by a little over a minute in helping her team to a 6th place finish with 145 points.
“This was my first time on this course,” said a smiling Wagler after the finish. “I thought I might have a chance to get in the top five today.”
Also for Rifle, Ashley Manera placed 13th with a time of 22:39. Basalt’s Carly Robinson ran a 22:42, good for 14th place.
The ladies of Glenwood, turning in another stellar performance, finished in 3rd place with a team total of 76 points. The Demon girls were topped by Erica Diemoz (11th, 22:17) who didn’t even decide if she was going to go out for cross country until early August.
“I had heard a lot of good things about coach (Mike) Schneiter and the team atmosphere and chemistry of the cross country teams,” said Diemoz. “I’m glad to be here. I wanted to try a new sport.”
Other top performances for the Lady Demons came from Elle Murphy (12th, 22:35), who was right on the heels of Diemoz. Sedona Kellogg (15th, 22:56), Claudia Hirons (17th, 23:00), and Emma Rahmeier (21st, 23:28) rounded out Glenwood’s top five.
The Heritage Eagles won the girls’ race with 35 total points.
Glenwood coach Mike Schneiter, in his 11th season with the Demons, has built a more than solid program at GSHS. Schneiter was very pleased with his young charges, and at having the race in such a traditional spot.
“This is such a beautiful setting up here,” said Schneiter, gazing around at the towering mountains and the fall colors. “When I started coaching cross country, we approached the people at the golf course about someday having the meet up here. I’m glad it’s all worked out.”
In the middle school race, which started the day off and running at 9:00 a.m., Glenwood 7th grader Reid Swanson, rekindling memories of legendary Oregon front runner Steve Prefontaine, took out like he was shot from a cannon, and never eased off the accelerator as he easily won the preliminary event with a time of 18:54.
Another Little Demon, Will Berkheimer, was second overall at 19:49, and Dalton Deter filled out the last spot in the top ten, recording a 21:49 performance. Ella Johnson was the top lady finisher from GSMS, coming in 17th place with a time of 22:43.
The Glenwood Middle School boys and girls both won their respective division team titles.
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